6 Tips to Avoid a Stressful Newborn Photo Session | South Side Newborn Photographer

As a newborn photographer with over fourteen years of experience serving families in the Pittsburgh area, I take pride in providing a stress-free newborn photo session experience for my clients. In this post, I’m going to list 6 tips to avoid a stressful newborn photo session.

I will also include images from a recent photo session with a beautiful couple and their precious baby boy in their gorgeous home in the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh!

1. Schedule Wisely

I think the most important thing to consider is the timing of the session. Not only do you want to try for the best time of day (ie, avoid scheduling first thing in the morning), but you also want to wait to schedule your session for when you feel ready! Although many parents believe two weeks old is some magic mark for newborn photos, I think parents should consider waiting longer.

The first two weeks of having a new baby can be magical but it can also be really hard! Why make things harder by trying to fit in a photo session too soon? Since I do not put newborns into a bunch of fancy poses, there is no need to schedule a session before baby is two weeks old.

I pencil in my newborn sessions for when baby is around two weeks old, and then I check in with Mom to see if she is ready or wants to postpone. My clients always have the option to easily postpone their session to a later date. I try to keep my schedule as flexible as possible for my clients with a new baby.

Check out this blog post and this post for more details on why it’s ok to wait for baby to be older!

This sweet little one was almost 8 weeks old for our session! I actually prefer that baby is older! You get a lot more eye contact, baby is less fussy and you start to see some of their personality and sometimes I’ll catch some smiles!

2. Embrace Real Life

I’m a lifestyle newborn photographer and this means I do not think newborns need to be photographed in fancy and elaborate poses or with a bunch of props. I much prefer to capture natural moments of the baby sleeping, yawning, or cuddling with his parents.

Years ago, I used to pose newborn babies and this proved to be stressful for the parents and myself because we would work for hours to get their baby into a deep sleep. I LOVE that I now avoid all of that stress and embrace those real life and real moments with a baby and family.

3. Clear Communication and Planning Before the Session

As a consumer, be sure to choose a photographer that fits your vision! Make sure they understand your vision and any specific images or themes you desire. You’ll want to discuss your expectations with the photographer beforehand.

For example, if you have 15 poses in mind with 15 different prop ideas, than I’m most likely not the photographer for you. You would want to hire a studio newborn photographer! Here is a helpful blog post about finding the perfect newborn photographer for your vision!

With all of my clients, I like to ask make sure our visions align before they hire me. Then a few weeks before our session, I give them all of the details about preparing for their newborn session. Knowing what to expect in advance can really help eliminate a lot of the stress that can go along with planning a photo session.

4. Have Essentials On Hand

I always tell my clients to take out any diapers, wipes, swaddles, blankets, outfits, onesies, binkys, burp cloths, etc., and keep them nearby in case we need them during the session. And I always tell mom to be sure to have her water bottle and any snacks that she might need during our session!

5. Keep it Simple

Yep, that’s it. Seriously. Do not overthink things like what to wear (I’ll send you some helpful tips for this) and definitely do not worry about things like, “What if my baby is super fussy and cries for two hours!?”. I promise this has never happened and you will not be the first!

I take pride in the fact that I am a bit of a baby whisperer and I have never had a baby cry for the whole session! And since a lot of my photos include one of the parents holding the baby, this ensures they will feel safe and content in their parents arms.

6. Keep Calm

I know this sounds too easy, but really. Just breathe. I promise that this will be a positive and even a fun and relaxing experience for you and your family! So many of my clients have commented that their newborn session was so much more laid back and easier than they ever imagined it would be.

Gah! Seriously, how sweet is this little family!?

I was IN LOVE with their beautiful urban home! There was so much beautiful light coming through the windows and skylights!

I hope you enjoyed these images and I hope this article can help you to avoid having a stressful newborn photo session! A photo session should never be stressful, especially for parents with a newborn baby! You have enough other things to be stressed about!

If you’re looking for a newborn or baby photographer in the South Side of Pittsburgh,  please get in touch to inquire about a session! I’d love to plan a photo session for your new baby!

Here are some other blog posts that you might want to check out! 

Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there!

All images by Mary Beth Miller Photography 

Mary Beth Miller Photography specializes in family and newborn photography in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and many of the surrounding areas. Mary Beth has over fourteen years of experience photographing families, newborns and babies in Pittsburgh including the South Side, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Oakland, the North Shore and Northside.   Her style is very relaxed and natural and your family session will feel like a stress-free Sunday afternoon with your family! 

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  • Wow.  Such a beautiful collection of portraits!ReplyCancel

  • What an angel!  These are absolutely beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne

    Newborn sessions can be so stressful for the new parents! Such amazing information! What a sweet family!ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful photos, and so many great tips!ReplyCancel

  • Rya

    Your posts always contain such useful information! Beautiful images too!ReplyCancel

Mary Beth Miller Photography


Established in 2009
Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.

Mary Beth Miller Photography

best newborn photographers in Pittsburgh Expertise logo award

Established in 2009
Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.